The Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act (“MVSWA”) provides monetary rewards to individuals (also known as whistleblowers) who report information about automobile safety issues to the federal government. The MVSWA, which is similar to the False Claims Act and other whistleblower laws, was created to keep America’s highways and roads safe. Below is an overview of the key components of this law. If you have information regarding an automobile safety issue that you’d like to report for a financial reward, please contact a motor vehicle safety whistleblower attorney as soon as possible for assistance.
Key Components of the MVSWA
- Under the MVSWA, a whistleblower must be an industry insider. This generally limits reporting under the MVSWA to employees and independent contractors who work for automobile manufacturers, dealerships, and parts suppliers. Unfortunately, this means that consumers who discover automobile safety issues are not eligible for financial compensation under the MVSWA.
- MVSWA whistleblowers must come forward voluntarily. In other words, individuals who report automobile safety issues in response to government subpoenas or investigations are not eligible for whistleblower awards.
- A whistleblower under the MVSWA need not file a lawsuit on behalf of the government to be eligible for financial compensation. An MVSWA whistleblower may submit information about auto safety directly to the government. However, it is recommended that anyone who submits information pursuant to the MVSWA do so with the assistance of a motor vehicle safety whistleblower attorney.
- Rewards under the MVSWA are only available to whistleblowers who provide information that results in a minimum of $1 million in sanctions by the federal government. Rewards range from between 10 to 30 percent of the money the government recovers.
- An employee who reports information under the MVSWA but is later criminally convicted in connection with the reported auto safety issue or deliberately caused the issue is not eligible for a reward.
- An individual who reports information to the government under the MVSWA that another whistleblower has already provided is not eligible for financial compensation. However, multiple whistleblowers who come forward together to report information about auto safety may all be eligible for a reward.
- If a whistleblower’s employer has a compliance program that allows employees to report safety issues internally, then the whistleblower must report the issue to his or her company before reporting it to the federal government. An employee who fails to do so risks losing his or her reward. However, if the whistleblower believes that such a report will result in retaliation by the employer, then he or she may report the information directly to the federal government.
- Finally, whistleblowers who report auto safety issues under the MVSWA are protected from retaliation under a related federal law. Under this law, employers may not retaliate against employees who notify the government of auto safety issues. Whistleblowers who experience retaliation may be eligible for additional financial compensation.
Contact a Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act Lawsuit Attorney
If you have information pertaining to a vehicle defect or safety issue, you may be eligible for financial compensation. However, without the assistance of an experienced motor vehicle safety whistleblower attorney who understands the relevant statutes and procedures governing the MVSWA, you may inadvertently lose your right to a claim under the reward program.
At Newman & Shapiro, attorney Jeffrey Newman will guide you through the process and ensure that your right to compensation under the MVSWA is protected. In addition, Jeffrey Newman will work to protect your anonymity, take legal action in the event of retaliation by your employer, and negotiate on your behalf for the highest compensation possible. Please contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.